Summer Update!

Hope everyone’s having an amazing summer so far!  These hot days have been flying by and it’s already July so I figured it was about time for a quick post now that there’s an entire new class of Duquesne freshmen and transfer students.

If you’re new to the blog, you should know that my name is Erica, I’m an upcoming sophomore in the McAnulty College, and I write for this blog to share my experiences at Duquesne with anyone whose interested.  Right now I’m just offering a chance to get questions answered or clear up any confusions about McAnulty, Duquesne, move-in…pretty much anything Duquesne related.  If I don’t know the answer off-hand I’ll do everything I can to figure it out so everyone has as smooth of a transition as possible. Get ready everyone, because you’re gonna love the Bluff! 🙂

Please feel free to submit any questions or comments to this post and hopefully I’ll be able to get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.  So ask away!



A few final freshman farewells

Is anyone else unable to believe this school year is over already?!  It feels like I just got my acceptance letter, began writing for the blog, and experienced orientation, but its already time to move allllll of my stuff back home! This has probably been the best freshman year I could have asked for so I really am sad to see it end.

As I tried to hold back tears when my family drove away last August and left me standing alone in front of St. Anns, I could never even have imagined all the amazing people I now consider my best friends, the crazy memories we will always share, and the endless opportunities I have been able to take advantage of over these past months.

If Duquesne weren’t the perfect home for me, I wouldn’t be this sad to leave.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to be mostly stress-free and spend hours in the sun, but it has been hard to see everyone go these past few days.  As my lack of recent blogging proves, I have been very busy with final exams and papers lately, just as everyone has, so we didn’t quite have enough free time to spend together at the end.  I’m not too worried about it though, because even though my new friends are headed back to various homes all over the country, good old facebook and texting will allow us to keep in touch until August when we’re onto our new home in Towers.

To incoming freshman, my advice would be to keep an open mind.  Attend whatever school gives you that gut feeling because you will really be spending all your time there.  It may be a little nerve wracking at first but once you settle in, give every new person and organization a chance, and you’ll sure to find a few lifelong friends, ways to get involved, and the chance to live out your dreams.  At this point in your life, really anything is possible, its just a matter of going after it.

As for classes and majors, you don’t have to be get locked into any direction right away; choose classes that seem interesting and fun.  With all the choices out there, there’s no reason for you to study something you don’t enjoy.  There are professors and organizations everywhere waiting to inspire you, so you’ll figure out the longterm goals eventually.

For now, everyone just have a warm, wonderful, relaxing summer. Work on the tan, earn a little cash, and get ready for next semester because I have a feeling Fall 2010 will be one we’ll never forget. 😉

Au revoir for now bloggers!


College Preview Day

This past Saturday was the college preview day for the incoming Class of 2014.  It was an afternoon packed with a lot of information about the college, life as a student here, and preparations for enrollment.  Students were able to learn more about the learning communities, (Check out Alyssa’s post explaining each community if you’re still confused) talk with students and professors from each community, take a tour of campus, and connect with various departments like Residence Life and Financial Aid.

I was happy to volunteer for the afternoon when Dr. Stoddard requested my attendance, and I actually ended up having a pretty fun time.  I really had no idea what I was getting myself into until arrived, but I was able to represent my learning community, Narratio (THE best community at the college) and also give a tour to a few potential freshmen and their families.  I then set myself up at a table in college hall to give further insight on my service project and community goals to anyone who passed by.  It was pretty strange when I realized it had already been a year since I attended the event with my own class, and now I’m on the other side of the fence.  Instead of trying to digest tons of new information, I was the one sharing my newly acquired Duquesne “expertise” with this year’s group of students.

I hope everyone who attended the event feels a little better about McAnulty as a part of their college decision-making process, but if there are still any unanswered questions or issues that aren’t quite clear yet, please feel free to ask anything in the comment box for this post and I would be happy to help!

*We also announced that we’re looking for a new freshman blogger to join us next year, so anyone who’s interested should fill out a quick application by taking a look at some of our older posts then sending us a sample post of around 350-500 words along with a short biography of yourself. Send all applications with “Blogger Application” in the subject line.

Good luck with your decision everyone!


Au Revoir Spring Break
03.09.10, 9:45 am
Filed under: Bloggers, Class of 2013, EricaT | Tags: , , ,

As I announced a while back, Spring Break this year was expected to be my best one yet, and it didn’t disappoint. Instead of relaxing at home and catching up on sleep, I traveled with my Impressionism art history class to Paris, France for the week. There were 18 students, including myself, plus our two professors. Our mission was to view and study as much art as we could, while exploring the city and having an amazing time. After cramming in as much site-seeing as possible, I definitely think we succeeded.

Although some strong winds and rain in Paris diverted our arrival to Amsterdam for a little while, we drove the final five hours on a bus, determined to arrive in the city on the day we had planned. Though it was 12 hours later than expected, we finally made it, and the first glimpse of Paris made me realize it had been worth the wait.  Even at night, we could see the beauty of the architecture all around us and it felt like we were in a whole other world.

After visiting the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Notre Dame, Arc de Triumph, Champs d’Elysee, basically about a million other places, and of course the Eiffel Tower, I felt like the city was too good to be true. Everything was gorgeous, the people were interesting, and the food was delicious. I was proud of the bravery my classmates and I had in trying many new things, like snails and pate made with duck liver.  We honestly enjoyed everything we ordered and it made the trip even more memorable. We all agreed it would be difficult to go back from French cuisine to Towers meals, and even  considered sneaking some baguettes and croissants into our carry-ons.

All too soon, though, we discovered it was time to pack up and return back to the Bluff.  I had mixed feelings about going home; on one hand I missed my family and friends but on the other it felt like we were leaving so much excitement in Europe. After only 8 hours on a much easier flight, I arrived at the Pittsburgh International Airport feeling ready to get back to real life with my memories and photos that will last forever.

Everyone in front of Auguste Rodin's "The Gates of Hell"

After going through my first study abroad experience, I would recommend it to everyone. Travel as often as you can for as long as you can, because the memories and the experiences aren’t something you can just read about in books. I’m now hoping to participate in as many similar programs as possible during my time as Duquesne, and I hope to see some of you in next year’s pictures! Au revoir for now!


Busy, busy, busy
01.26.10, 2:19 pm
Filed under: Bloggers, EricaT | Tags: , , , ,

College students know that time is one thing there’s never enough of. Recently I’ve realized just how busy we all are, and it’s a little hard to believe we all manage to get things done. My roommate and I were recently looking through our planners and joked that we may even have to start scheduling trips to the bathroom just to make time- the funny thing is I feel like my life could actually get to that point.

Currently, I’m taking five classes, writing for this blog, attending the SPIRIT Emerging Leader workshops, interviewing to be a 2010 Orientation Leader, getting ready to enter the Phi Eta Sigma national honor society, preparing to travel to Paris for Spring Break with my Impressionism class, and I also made the Dean’s List and Director’s Circle here at Duquesne. While I’m honored and happy to be a part of all these great organizations, it seems a little overwhelming when it’s spelled out like this.

I still do a few things each day to keep me healthy and sane like supporting the Dukes at basketball games (Yay for the win against St. Bona!), and I’m even getting the H1N1 vaccine to keep me from catching anything during my trip to Paris.

I’ve also noticed a difference in starting my second semester is that this one began just as busy as the last one ended. Whereas last semester I acquired an increasingly stricter schedule as time went on, I feel just as busy now as I did during finals weeks last December.

Another thing that amazes me, once again, is how many opportunities there are at Duquesne. I hear about new activities every day that seem like something I would love to be involved in, but there simply isn’t enough time. I’m just one person with a small list of extracurriculars, but there are hundreds of other activities here and thousands of students participating in them. After reading the posts from the other bloggers, it’s clear that I’m definitely not the only one taking advantage of everything on campus.

What I’m trying to get across to the readers is not that I have a tough life; in fact I love my life and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I really want everyone to know that we’re all stressing, but it’s a stress that comes with the reassurance that everything will pay off, and the busy schedule of today will bring about incredible opportunities tomorrow. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself 😉


Welcome back!

2010 is here and the Spring semester has officially begun. After a few great weeks at home, it feels good to be back at The Bluff. The past 24 hours have been filled with happy reunions among friends, unpacking what seems like endless bags that will never fit in one dorm room, buying books, and dealing with the realization that today marks the first day of classes. While it would have been nice to have a couple days to visit with friends, a two day week for class is definitely doable.

My brain feels ready to tackle the new challenges that this semester is sure to bring, but with five new classes I have to admit I was a little nervous. I’m happy to have some courses that are very relevant to my major and should interest me quite a bit. My Intro to PR and Media Relations class is even being taught by Dr. Sora, one of my favorite professors from last semester, so I’m looking forward to what this new class has in store. Most challenging for me will probably be my math class, but I’m determined to give extra attention and study time to the course so I can do my best.

The last few weeks of visiting with family and friends have been perfect for relieving stress from the fall, but it’s time for the memories of a new semester to begin.

Good luck everyone!


Goodbye first semester…hello holidays

It’s officially the last weekend of 2009 to be spent at Duquesne!  My last week as a first semester freshman…

I have mixed feelings but mostly it’s just kind of surreal. I’m so happy that this is the place where I had my first college experiences. With everything from D’U Ride? Orientation, to learning community projects and friendships, to finals week; I definitely feel a part of the true “college experience” and consider myself a real college student.

Finals week was quite an experience. I thought the stories about spending hours upon end in the library and drinking twelve cups of coffee were all exaggerated, but it turns out they’re all true…mostly. Finals were, in fact, super challenging and required a lot of my time, but after handing in the many papers and finishing my exams, I think the effort was well worth it. Once I finally beat the struggle to find a table at Gumberg, I was able to go into the tests feeling confident and came out the same way. Even after spending an approximate 20 hours in the library over the past few days, I’m happy I stayed focused and worked through it. Hopefully when grades are posted , I will still feel the same way.

While of course I’m excited to get a break from all the work, I have to admit I’m a little sad to leave my college “family”. We will all go our separate ways for almost a month, but when we get back we will be starting all new classes and getting right back into the crazy times. Seeing my family and friends for Christmas will make up for it, too. Of course, I’ll have to continue our family traditions of baking lots of cookies and spending a weekend at Seven Springs Ski Lodge. And even though I suppose I’m becoming an adult, I’m still hoping Santa will leave some presents for me!

So keep your happy holiday thoughts and memories in mind while you’re winding up these last couple days of testing and be proud of yourself—you’ve made it through an entire semester!!

Happy Holidays everyone!! Stay warm!!

More to come in January!